Monday, December 7, 2009

Just what civilization needs...


Another weigh-in on the best films of the decade.

(Some temptations can be resisted. Some should be but cannot. Sometimes reticence is regretted. Sometimes resistance is futile.)

Today: 15 runners-up and the 25th [superlative inflection of positive adjective] motion picture of the decade spanning 2000-2009.
Tomorrow through December 31st, daily: Countdown to #1.


Honorable mentions, listed alphabetically:
Before Sunset (Richard Linklater); Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron); The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Piui); Gosford Park (Robert Altman); Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog); The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow); Little Children (Todd Field); My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin); Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro); Safe Conduct (Bertrand Tavernier); The Sea Inside (Alejandro Amenabar); A Serious Man (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen); The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach); 25th Hour (Spike Lee); United 93 (Paul Greengrass)


No Country for Old Men (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
Downfall (Oliver Hirschbiegel)
23. The Fog of War (Errol Morris)
22. Y Tu Mama Tambien (Alfonso Cuaron)
You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonergan)
20. Adaptation (Spike Jonze)
19. Zodiac (David Fincher)
18. Kings & Queen (Arnaud Desplechin)
17. Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki)
16. Amores Perros (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
15. Sideways (Alexander Payne)
14. The Barbarian Invasions (Denys Arcand)
13. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu)
12. Junebug (Phil Morrison)
11. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)
10. The Best of Youth (Marco Tullio Giordana)
9. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodovar)
8. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki)
7. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)
6. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel)
5. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
4. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes)
3. City of God (Fernando Meirelles)
2. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)
1. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)


Mr. Allnut said...

Great list so far (only up to 15 at this point). Of course one's natural tendency with any list is to want to challenge the listmaker (Pan's Labyrinth only gets an honorable mention -- are you kidding me?!) but I'll reserve final judgement until you've finished. I'll say one thing -- I pledge to cue up all that I haven't seen yet. I know, I know...."Then do so, Mr. Allnut."

gwenivere said...


harrylime said...

My thanks to you both. Didn't know anyone still checked this - it's been a long hiatus.

Poppy said...

This is one amazing list, 'tho I haven't seen many of them. One can tell that a lot of time and thought went into the composition of this list. I think that public schools should use this list as "required watching" for part of their curriculum.One can tell that the author is compassionate and loyal to his/her characters, whether they are considered "good" or "bad." Being able to be objective shows that some critics still have what it takes to be an excellent and reliable journalist. Keep up the good work and, whatever you do, please keep this blog going!


Mr. Allnut said...

Ok, your list (now final) is fantastic. You certainly didn't take the safe, predictable route; instead there are some very nice surprises! I must get busy on the ones I missed! Your list does beg the question: What have some of these filmmakers done lately? (And will they again achieve such greatness?) For example, I sure hope Sophia Coppola finds her groove again... Anyway, thanks for this! I wonder: What percentage of these would have played at your neighborhood multiplex, versus those requiring a trip to a much less accessible theatre specializing in independent/foreign language/documentary fare...

harrylime said...

Personally, I caught all but three (Brokeback Mountain, Zodiac, No Country for Old Men) in specialty theaters. I can imagine five others (Lost in Translation, There Will Be Blood, Spirited Away, Sideways, Adaptation) playing in the nicer multiplexes. My other 17? Forget about it. The worst aspect of this embargo on culture is that filmgoers who don't reside in urban centers have no access to the movies that critics urge them to see - to movies they themselves want to see! - unless (note I do not say "until") they're released on DVD.

Sad but typical story: My Winnipeg, one of my honorable mentions, opened to some of 2008's most enthusiastic notices. It scored a perfect 100 with Rotten Tomatoes' Cream of the Crop (25 of the country's top reviewers). By the end of its run it had played on ten screens nationwide. TEN. As in: one for every five states. As compared to the nearly 5,000 that showed The Dark Knight. Was there a return engagement after it claimed major prizes from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, the Toronto Film Critics Association and the Golden Steves? No. A DVD exists, but right now Netflix doesn't stock it. Think about that. Last week Roger Ebert named it the tenth best movie of the decade(!), and Netflix, the company that boasts over 100,000 unique titles, does not carry it. Whatever perverse logic motivates these decisions must be called into question and soon, or else the war will be lost, and the only combatants left standing will be the bookkeepers.

Ron said...

Well Harry, I am not qualified to render an opinion on the list since I have not seen any of them except for Grizzly Man, which I dearly loved. At any rate, I can't seem to find an email address for you.
And as an aside, if there were a list of great one-liners of the decade, I would nominate "If it don't scare the cows, who cares".

Annie said...

hey! :)

i like your list, are you gonna pick your winners soon? i'd love to see that. i saw an education not to long ago, man i really fell in love that movie, one of my new favorites definitely. the other of your best picture ones i saw was up in the air, which i really loved too.
i love that you have melanie laurent, i was mad she didn't get much, when i first watched it i liked her better than diane kruger, who got more attention.. (prob bc she's more famous here but whatever. )
i didn't see where the wild things are, andy didn't like it so i never did go, but i certainly want to see it now :)
talk to you soon !

oh, and hey are you coming to kings mill over 4th of july? hope to see you there